Employee Training and Development
Employee training and development. The following purposes of training and development as proposed by Beardwell et al (2004):
a) Maximising productivity and service provision for the company
b) Developing the adaptability for the workforce
c) Developing an organisation as a whole
d) Increasing job satisfaction, motivation and morale of workforce
e) Improving standards and safety at work
f) Promoting the Better utilisation of other resources
g) Standardisation of work practices and procedures
Wood (2009) divides trainings methods into two categories: traditional training methods, and electronic training methods. Traditional training methods include lectures, on-the-job training, apprenticeship training, offside training, programmed learning, informal learning, job instruction training, and training stimulated by audiovisual tools.
As a traditional training method, on-the-job training includes job rotation, coaching, and action learning, whereas the main elements of off-the-job training (offside training) are case-study, games, external seminars, Internet-based seminars and conferences, university-related programs, role-playing, behavioural modelling, Internet educational portals, and behavioural modelling. The main elements of electronic training are computer-based training, video-conferencing, electronic performance support systems, tele-training, learning portals and others.
Paauwe (2004) specifies task analysis to be a detailed study of the job to be undertaken in order to identify skills required for the job. Performance analysis, on the other hand, as Shermon (2004) informs, examine individual and collective performances within organisations in order to identify deficiencies, then training and development programs can be devised in order to eliminate these performance deficiencies.
Moreover, Behaviour Modelling has also been identified as an important element of training and development programs and Dessler (1984) informs that behaviour modelling includes three following components:
a) Showing trainees the right (or “model”) method of performing a task
b) Giving opportunities to trainees to perform in this way
c) Giving feedback on the trainees’ performance.
Strengths of behaviour modelling as an element of training and development scheme is that many skills can be taught by at the same time by using them, and this option is not available in many other training and development elements. However, at the same time, behaviour modelling proposes rigid solutions to problems, failing to take into account unusual circumstances.
Managers also should be put on job rotations, in order to expose them to different issues the company has in general, and at the same time giving them opportunities to acquire team management and cross cultural skills that will allow managers to operate well within various departments of the company.
Job rotations are good in a way that they provide opportunities for increased level of social interaction and they can also eliminate the monotony in the workplace. However, according Byars and Rue (2006) job rotations can be a source of stress for employees, especially when they start losing sense of ownership of their job as a result of job-rotation.
Video-conferencing has also been specified as an element of proposed training and development program that should be organised in a way that managers engaged in company’s foreign operations must share their cultural experiences and their knowledge about cultural awareness through video-conferencing with other managers based in head office.
The strengths of video-conferencing as a training method can be shown as being interesting and motivating, especially when high-achievers within the company working in foreign operations are sharing their cultural experiences with junior managers through video conferencing. However, the weaknesses of video-conferencing include the necessity of relevant facilities, and accordingly, additional expenses, and also there might be time-related issues when meetings between people from different countries are being organised on the basis of video-conferencing.
Lectures as one of the main elements of training and development schemes have their strengths such as being less expensive compared to some other training and development methods, short period of time required to conduct them, and also lectures are usually taught by highly skilled professionals giving managers participating on them opportunity ask these professionals questions.
On the other hand, lectures have their weaknesses, the main of which is the possibility that the attention of managers participating in them may be shifted to different things if they find it not to be interesting. Moreover, Laird et al (2003) state that usually in majority of lectures there are no provisions for student participation and this is another major disadvantage of this training method.
It has to be also noted that in order to bring the maximum results, training and development elements specified above need to be conducted with highly qualified professionals. Otherwise, it would result in losses in forms of wasted time, as well as other forms of resources involved in the project.
The following five-step training and development process features in the work of Beardwell et al (2004):
- Analysing the needs of the company. The management should determine what skills are necessary in order to achieve the objective of the company at any given stage of development.
- Designing training and development program. This should be done taking into account the need of the company and the professional level of the workforce.
- Validating the program. The training and development program that has been designed must be critically analysed by management with the possible engagement of the third party, and it should be revised accordingly.
- Implementation of the program. The designed and validated training and development program should be conducted for workforce according to the plan.
- Evaluating the programs. After the training and development program has been conducted its efficiency should be evaluated in the basis of analysis and feedback from stakeholders and relevant conclusions should be made to be taken into account for future similar programs.
- Beardwell, I, Holden, L & Claydon, T, 2004, Human Resource Management: A Contemporary Approach, 4th Edition, FT Prentice Hall.
- Dessler, G, 1984, Personnel Management: Modern Concepts and Techniques, Reston Publishing Company
- Laird, D, Naquin, SS & Holton, EF, 2003, Approaches to Training and Development, Blackwell Publishing
- Paauwe, J, 2004, HRM and Performance: Achieving Long-term Viability, Oxford University Press
- Wood, G, 2009, Human Resource Management: A Critical Approach, Taylor & Francis